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November 6, 2006

Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Chloë Sevigny, Stockard Channing, and Olympia Dukakis star in "3 Needles," a powerful new feature film that tells the stories of people struggling with the AIDS pandemic in South Africa, China, and North America. Please join ASC for a World AIDS Day benefit screening of
"3 Needles" at City Cinemas Village East (Second Ave. & 12th St.).

November 6, 2006

ASC's colorful holiday cards feature a vibrant mural by ASC clients and Peer Educators and make great holiday greetings or gifts. Best of all, your purchase directly supports ASC's programs and services. What better way to celebrate the season of giving? To purchase ASC's holiday cards, click here.

November 6, 2006

World AIDS Day 2006 will be a special day at ASC, featuring a community luncheon and an unveiling of the ASC Mosaic of Life—a breathtaking tile mosaic memorializing those we have lost in the struggle with HIV/AIDS and honoring those whose courage has inspired us over the years.

The event will also include a poetry reading by members of ASC's Creative Writing Workshop to celebrate the publication of the ninth issue of Situations, ASC's literary journal. Free copies of Situations 9 will be distributed to all our guests.

Join us at our main offices (41 E. 11th Street, Fifth Floor) for this memorable event. For more information, contact ASC's Planning Department at 212-645-0875 x 303, or email info@ascnyc.org.

November 6, 2006

Become an ASC volunteer ?wrapper,? and help make our clients? gifts sparkle.

Each year, with the support of generous donors like you, ASC provides wonderful holiday presents for the hundreds of men, women and families that ASC serves. Help us share the joy of the season.

We are seeking donations of children's toys and adult-sized sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, and assorted gifts. Become an ASC volunteer "wrapper," and help us make these presents sparkle with wrapping, ribbons and bows.

To make a donation to our Toy/Gift Drive or to register for our Volunteer Gift-wrapping Days, call 212-645-0875 x 303, or email Lauren@ascnyc.org.

November 6, 2006

ASC is hosting our annual Thanksgiving feast for clients and friends, and we hope you'll join us! The celebration will include dinner, music, raffles, and other forms of fun, along with HIV information and resources. The event will take place at St. Augustine's Church at 292 Henry Street, on the Lower East Side. For travel directions, contact ASC's Planning Department at 212-645-0875 x 303, or email info@ascnyc.org.

November 6, 2006

One of six working groups at the ASC Staff Retreat maps out the agency's future directions.

In September, ASC's entire team of 64 full-time staff members gathered offsite for a daylong retreat that centered on advancing ASC's strategy for serving our diverse constituency.

The day began with an appreciation of ASC's major achievements over 16 years of service and an exploration of our core values of flexibility, tenacity, respect, integrity, creativity and accountability. In small working groups, we then addressed practical issues, including how best to engage people at risk in ASC's HIV testing and counseling services and how to maximize our clients' connection in care. In a time of considerable change in the HIV/AIDS field, the retreat was a great opportunity for ASC's staff to reconnect, re-energize, and plan for our clients' needs.

November 6, 2006

For a very special glimpse at what "helping many, one by one" is all about, join us at the graduation ceremony for ASC's current Peer Recovery Education Program (PREP) cycle. The ceremony is the culmination of ASC's intensive training program to help men and women who are affected by HIV/AIDS and in recovery from drug or alcohol use to reach their full potential. The event will include powerful testimonials from current graduates, remarks from ASC's Executive staff and Board, a keynote address by a past ASC PREP graduate, and refreshments.

Come see this exciting ASC program in action! For more information, contact ASC's Planning Department at 212-645-0875 x 303, or email info@ascnyc.org.

November 6, 2006

I came to the United States from Guyana in 1992. In 2000, I suddenly got very sick. I didn't know what was wrong with me—and I didn't know anything about HIV or AIDS. All I knew was that I just wanted to sleep all the time. I couldn't eat and I was getting very thin. My sister was very worried about me. She told me about ASC.

Right away when I came to ASC, they helped me find a doctor. As soon as I was diagnosed with HIV, ASC helped me get started on HIV treatments immediately. My case manager accompanied me to the doctor to see how my treatment was going and to help me talk with my doctor. Since I didn't know anything about HIV, there was so much to learn. ASC gave me a lot of education and support.

At the time of my diagnosis, my wife and I were living in a small room in a boarding house. We had to share the kitchen and the bathroom with six or seven other people. We didn't have much privacy and it wasn't a comfortable place to live—especially with me being so sick.

Once my medical situation was more stable, ASC began to help my wife and me find a better place to live. We looked at a lot of different places and eventually found something good. It was on the first floor, so it was easy to get to and we didn't have to climb a lot of stairs. It's a nice apartment and I really appreciate it.

Now, I can prepare a meal in my own kitchen. I can take a bath whenever I want to, and I don't have to wait for other people to use the bathroom. And we have our privacy. Right now, my wife is on chemo treatments for breast cancer and has a home-care attendant. Our situation would have been even harder if we didn't have our own place to live.

Since I came to ASC, they've helped me in so many ways. Along with the medical care and housing assistance, I've used the food pantry, gotten individual counseling, and received treatment education that helps me understand how my HIV medications work and how to make the most of them.

Being at ASC has been very educational for me. At ASC, they explain everything to you, and they care about you. That's what I like about it. I never knew anything about HIV and I wasn't aware of what I had. Now, I know lots more. I understand my medications and I feel able to take care of myself.

November 6, 2006

Hepatitis C co-infection is present in approximately 40% of people living with HIV in New York City, underscoring the urgent need for hepatitis C prevention and care interventions in communities at risk. In response, ASC hosted a three-day "Love Your Liver" event in October. In workshops and discussions, more than 40 men and women learned about hepatitis C transmission, prevention, and treatment. Along with speakers from ASC, presenters included representatives from the Latino Organization for Liver Awareness (LOLA) and Exponents/ARRIVE, a peer-training program that helps people move from incarceration to civilian life.

November 6, 2006

J.R. came to ASC depressed and demoralized. His housing situation was, in his words, "unlivable." His tiny studio apartment suffered from cracked walls, unreliable heating, and a rat infestation. "It hurt me emotionally to live there," he recalls.

Fortunately, ASC was able to help J.R. improve his housing situation. "ASC helped me search for a new place to live and supported me throughout the process until we found a one-bedroom apartment beyond my wildest dreams," he says.

It seems obvious that every person should have safe, affordable housing. But for people living with HIV/AIDS or other chronic illnesses, housing is literally a matter of survival. "It's the number one priority," explains ASC Senior Case Manager Antoinette Desrosiers. "If you're on the streets, you can't keep your doctor's appointments, you can't adhere to your medications, you can't function. Housing gives people stability, peace of mind, and control over their lives."

In 2006 alone, ASC has helped place more than 75 people living with HIV/AIDS in permanent housing. This includes people who have endured long-term homelessness, become homeless due to job loss, or lost housing due to HIV discrimination.

Attaining housing is a complicated process, and ASC helps clients every step of the way. We make it easy for clients get their applications in order, prep for housing interviews, and, where needed, obtain proper interview attire through ASC's Wonderful Wearables Clothing Room. To make their new house feel more like a home, ASC even provides a gift certificate with which clients can purchase cookware, bedding, and other basics.

"To turn their key in their own door and say 'this is home' means so much to our clients," says Senior Case Manager Marcia Deer. "Their medical conditions are often very difficult, but once they have housing, their living conditions greatly improve. Once a client is housed, you can see the difference—they go to their medical appointments, take care of themselves, and develop self-esteem. After awhile, they don't even need or want help, because they're independent and have rebuilt their lives. That's success! It's a hill, but when you reach the top, you feel great about what you can do to help people change their lives."

For J.R., the difference has been profound. He's now in college and holding down a job, while staying on track with his HIV medications and health care regimen. "It feels fantastic to come home to a place that's safe and comfortable, where I can rest, relax, and be myself. Having this is definitely helping me maintain my health and keep a positive attitude about life."

November 6, 2006

ASC's annual holiday celebrations are renowned for bringing the true spirit of holiday cheer to our clients and their families. This year's festivities will include dinner, music, dancing, gifts, and plenty of fun. Reserve your place by calling 212-645-0875 ext. 301. Call soon—reservations must be received by Monday, December 18th.

We also need volunteers for this event. If you're available to help, please call 212-645-0875 x 303, or email Lauren@ascnyc.org.

November 6, 2006

In October, ASC celebrated National Case Management Week with a special luncheon for our dedicated Client Service Department staff, pictured here.

Each day, ASC's case managers and client services staff overcome the odds by successfully connecting our clients to the services they need—from health care, housing, and mental health support to childcare, HIV treatment education, and basic entitlements. With those daily accomplishments in mind, ASC was delighted to mark Case Management Week—a nationwide celebration of the contribution of case managers to quality care for people in need—with a special luncheon for our diligent and skilled Client Services Department team.

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